If God is for me . . . who can be against me?

The powerful gift of tongues . . .


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"The Powerful Gift of Tongues"

By Darren Canning



"The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the Church." (1 Corinthians 14:4)


"But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit." (Jude 1:20)


"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning’s too deep for words." (Romans 8:26)


I love speaking in tongues; it was one of the first gifts of the Holy Spirit that I really hungered for. I grew up in a Pentecostal church, and tongues used to terrify me when I was young. I was bewildered by the strange thing that I saw the adults doing in the church.


I was born in 1972, and the Pentecostal movement was becoming mature in many ways. Azusa Street occurred in 1906 and lasted until about roughly 1915, and the charismatic outpouring began in the 60s, lasting until about the early 70s. My family was very much immersed in the Pentecostal movement; my grandparents on both sides of the family were Pentecostal. I was told, because of the healings that took place in the churches, that many were drawn to healing and the desire to be closer to the Holy Spirit. It must have been an amazing time. Reports were going out everywhere about the amazing miracles that were taking place in A.A. Allen's and Oral Roberts' ministries in the 40s and 60s.  


I remember the older generation in the churches when I was young. People in their 70s and 80s, who likely experienced the beginning of Pentecostalism, would pray on their knees, groaning. It wasn't so much the demonstrations that impressed me, and I was always a little unsure of the noise, but what I do remember is how the peace of Jesus so filled that little church that my grandfather helped to build. Their prayers produced something; the presence of Jesus was carried by them.


The Gift of Tongues


In 1988, I was 16 years old. I had experienced an encounter with Jesus the year before, and I had started to go to church on a regular basis. I went to a Salvation Army church for a season, but I was drawn to the Pentecostal church because of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that I would see there. When I first encountered tongues, to me, it was a sign that God was real. I felt the fear of the Lord when I went to a Pentecostal service. I would hear people praying in tongues and I was completely intrigued; I also wanted to pray in tongues.


1 Corinthians 14:22 says, "Thus tongues are a sign not for Believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for Believers."


In those days, we would have services where you would seek the gift of tongues. At my youth group, the pastor, after the service, would ask those who were interested in speaking in tongues to stay. A few of the senior leaders would stand around us and pray and would encourage us to step out in faith and begin to speak in tongues. It didn't take me long...I remember speaking in tongues the first time that I went to one of these services, but the real outpouring came in my bedroom at night. I remember an explosion of tongues coming out of my mouth. It never stopped.


The promise of Scripture is that when I pray in tongues, I am building up my spiritual life (see the Scriptures above). I can almost picture a team of angels that are employed as I pray in the Holy Spirit. They come in on waves of tongues, and the things that I pray by the Holy Spirit begin to happen in my life. Things begin to shift. Obstacles are removed. Depression and fear fall like a veil from my eyes. God builds me up in the most holy faith.  


I literally feel fire when I pray in tongues, and in times when I fast and pray and dedicate my time to praying tongues, I can feel that fiery presence even more. It is a healing and an affirming presence at the same time. So, I pray even more in tongues because it's so affirming that I can't help but continue on. I pray in tongues and then I pray in English, and sometimes I even pray in a little French; not much, of course, but I tell Jesus that I love Him in the language of love. His presence in me is so strong that I can't help but love Him. His presence is only and always good.




I guess I want everyone to pray in tongues; I want everyone to try because the power that comes is so amazing.


I pray for you today and ask God to touch your life. May He empower you to pray by the Holy Spirit in such a way that your entire being shifts into a new glory. I pray that you will find great pleasure in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. May you become a testimony to the generations to come of the power that comes upon those who seek God and pray.




By Darren Canning

Darren Canning Ministries

Email: darrencanning78@gmail.com

Website: www.darrencanning.tv




ElijahList Publications

528 Ellsworth St. SW

Albany, OR 97321


email: info@elijahlist.net

Phone 1-541-926-3250

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